Paul Ettinger BSc Physics & Electronics, 1980
Southampton was my first choice primarily because of the Physics & Electronics reputation, but I also liked the atmosphere and feel of the campus.
I chose Southampton as my first choice primarily because of the reputation of the Physics & Electronics department, but I also liked the atmosphere and feel of the campus.
At the University I got involved with lots of extra-curricular activities. I captained the third rugby team and founded the ski racing club. As captain of the ski club I took 120 people to the Alps which really helped develop key organisational and administrative skills. I also really grew in confidence.
After University I went to work as an engineer in the Sahara desert for two years which was a tremendous experience. I was in a hostile environment with 70 other men learning how to live in the desert! After two years I decided that I wanted to work in general management instead. I worked in industry for 12 years in various general management roles and during that time did an MBA at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. It was through a friendship that I made during my MBA course that I got involved in setting up Caffe Nero which has now grown to become a global coffee shop chain with over 600 stores and 4,000 members of staff.
Alongside my role as International Development Director at Caffe Nero I am also Chairman of the local social network ‘Streetlife’. My current ambition is to turn Streetlife into a global online community. I still use the skills I learnt as a student now and in particular the technology training from my degree gave me the confidence to undertake the Streetlife project.